Mitsui Mining & Smelting to Follow Growing Asian Copper Foil Market

Mitsui Mining & Smelting tries to expand the market share of electrolytic copper foil with 12 micrometers thick from current 50% to 70% in Asia. The director Masatoshi Eto said the firm tries to follow the growing demand for thinner products by doubling the capacity in Taiwan and Malaysia. The firm also launches resin coated copper making plant with monthly 500,000 square meters of output capacity in the year to expand the sales for cell phone. Mr. Eto said the firm expanded the output capacity of ultra thin electrolytic copper foil with carrier to 450,000 square maters per month at Saitama plant. He said the firm tries to find timing for another expansion when the demand increases for chip size package. He said the firm tries to develop new resin material with semiconductor performance for resin coated copper. He expects the electrolytic copper with capacitor could be accepted by the market due to the high performance. Mr. Eto said the electrolytic copper foil profit increased by around 15% in fiscal 2007 ended March 2008 from fiscal 2006. The firm sees the commodity grade users in Asia shift from 35 micrometers thick foil to 12 micrometers while Asian demand is slow when copper clad laminate industry has overstock after building inventory preparing for Beijing Olympic game. He said demand of resin coated copper used for cell phone keeps high level in Asia. He said Japanese copper foil demand increases for flexible printed circuit mainly due to cell phone growth.